Gillard tightens disability pension,but is a screw loose

Dear Prime minister Gillard, you say you are doing Australia a favor by making it harder to earn a pension. I was born severly Epileptic ,It took me leaving Australia to find someone who would apprentice me,but I achieved . When I returned to Australia the health and safety act made it Impossible for anyone with a convulsive disorder to work with high heat and knives so I was put on a pension. I worked in entertainement, became quite well known but couldn’t get tour insurance because  major venues wouldn’t book me because epilepsy wasnt covered so again another career down the drain and I was on benefits . I consulted on restaurants but it was not enough money to make rent and the social security said they wouldn’t help me unless I gave up consultancy or even looking for any kind of work because if I  did I wouldn’t qualify . So I was told You can’t do  what your qualified at, you can’t do what your good at, and if you try to be productive and work part time we don’t like it. Jump forward a few years I have inherited a illness affecting my spine and I’m in a Wheelchair and can never work Again and I’m told I may be cut off because under your new idea Ms Gillard maybe I can sit and lick envelopes I’m 52 years old , even if i was healthy and able bodied at my age jobs are few and far between but tyou cut my benefits off and say I get a interview ,And I  roll in (That’s assuming it’s one of the 1/10 corporate buildings that are wheelchair accessible) and I’m in a waiting room with able bodied non epileptic people half my age Do you really think I stand a hope in hell?. Under your new scheme the morbidly obese would not necessarily Qualify again a 500 plus pound middle aged man applies for a job with buff 30 yr olds who gets the job? not the one that the company has to widen doors ,build a special bathroom for and give twice as many breaks too . and deafnness ?what was that ?sorry yeah bad jokes I know but Again no-one employs anyone who is a health and safety risk  I went to school with a kid who had aids in both ears he was hit by falling debris doing work experience on a building site he didnt hear 5 builders screaming . Wake up Gillard you’ll take it from us with one title and say  “what a good girl I cut the pension spending in half” but The retraining to enter the work force and the home care and medical aid budget has risen to the size of the cost a running a small country? I’m not saying there are not a small percentage of frauds but if the aplicant sitting in front of you in a Wheelchair suddenly convulses onto the floor and your secretary didn’t hear it because her hearing aid batteries are flat and the office boy who weighs 600lbs was on a oxygen break  your new system is really working wonderfully perhaps part 2 you could get the blind school directing traffic in elizabeth st at peak hour  and the asthmatics blowing up baloons in the pr department .  making people homeless isn’t saving money it’s taking away  dignity, embarassing disabled people by telling them they should be happy going back to the days of selling pencils on street corners is about what we The Australian voting public has come to expect from you. Have we sunk so low  from a nation of people who never let a mate go without  to a nation who have no mates? somebody bring back the don chips of this world when asked why he started a third poitial party he said to michael willisee “to keep the bastards honest ” who’ll keep you honest ms Gillard?


AN estimated four out of every 10 people currently eligible for the Disability Support Pension would fail to qualify for the payment under sweeping reforms to the welfare benefit to be unveiled by the Gillard government today.
In the biggest ever crackdown on the burgeoning DSP, the government will today publish proposed new “impairment tables” used to judge who is eligible to claim the benefit, worth $729.30 a fortnight for singles.Under the first changes to the disability eligibility rules since 1993, people with a hearing impairment would now be assessed when their hearing aid was in to decide their capacity for work.Previously it had been a requirement to be tested without a hearing aid. By contrast, those being tested for sight impairment were required to wear glasses.

Issues such as obesity or chronic pain would no longer be considered grounds in themselves for DSP eligibility. Rather, they would be considered based on how they affect a person’s capacity to function and work.

And there would be new guidelines on mental health, the fastest-growing category of new DSP recipients. People who suffer from episodic mental health conditions would now be treated with a focus on rehabilitation.

“The new (tables) will make sure that people applying for the Disability Support Pension will be assessed on what they can do and not what they can’t do,” Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin said yesterday.

“I want to see people who have some capacity to work doing so.

“I believe we can do better than a lifetime spent on income support, for Australians who have some capacity to work.

“Of course the Disability Support Pension is, and will remain, an essential part of our social safety net for those who are unable to work.”

The new rules would take effect from January 1 next year and apply only to new applicants.

There are currently 815,000 DSP recipients, up by almost 100,000 from just two years ago, but the changes proposed by the government’s expert advisory committee — and expected to be adopted — are set to make a profound difference to the future take-up rate of the welfare payment.

A Centrelink review of the new tables found 38 per cent of the successful DSP applicants in the first half of this year would be found ineligible under the new tables.

Both Coalition and Labor governments have worked for years, with little effect, to control the ever-increasing numbers of DSP recipients by pushing the idea that those with the capacity to work should do so.

The DSP has long been a welfare dead-end for recipients, with very few moving off the payment, except on to the age pension.

In 2006, the Howard government changed the rules to stop people receiving the DSP if they could work 15 hours a week or more, down from the previous 30-hour test.

The 2009 budget saw the Gillard government put DSP decisions in the hands of more senior assessors. Since the change, introduced in July last year, successful claims fell from 63.3 per cent to 58.8 per cent.

The 2011 budget offered DSP recipients aged 35 and under a carrot, allowing them to work up to 30 hours a week without losing the part-pension. Previously, any more than 15 hours work a week was enough to suspend the payment. And, from September this year, applicants (other than those with a severe disability or illness) must show they have tried to get work or training before they can be eligible for the DSP.

The profile of a typical DSP recipient is changing from those with musculoskeletal conditions (currently 33 per cent of the total) to those with mental illnesses.

In 2001, less than 23 per cent of disability support pensioners had a psychological or psychiatric condition; now it is 29 per cent and growing.

Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes said the time was ripe for a change in the assessment procedures.

“They were last addressed in the early 90s and since that time much of the thinking on disability has changed from a medical to a social model, looking at how a person’s disability influences their capacity to function in life,” he said. “So I’m supportive of the government’s clear intention to ensure that as many people with disabilities as possible are out there in the community, working and paying taxes rather than receiving benefits.”

Author: disabledaccessdenied

I am a disabled woman who through no fault of my own has wheels under my ass. I rely on the decency and common sense of local, state and federal goverments, as well as the retail community to abide by the disabled access laws and provide adequate ramps, disabled toilets, and not use them as store rooms or broom closets. This blog exists to find the offenders and out them, inform them, and report them if necessary and shame them into doing the right thing when all else fails.

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